CN employee named 40 Under 40 for economic development

01/30/2019 04:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Career Services Economic Development Manager Hunter Palmer was selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards. COURTESY
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Hunter Palmer, the Cherokee Nation’s Career Services Economic Development manager, was recently selected as a winner in the national economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development industry.

“I’m very honored to be selected as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star award winner,” Palmer said. “This is a very prestigious award, and I’m humbled to have been nominated. I look forward to continuing my work in making a positive impact on the communities of Cherokee Nation and northeastern Oklahoma.”

An independent, five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 170 qualified candidates based on their accomplishments and contributions to the economic development industry. The awards program was managed by Development Counsellors International, a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, and Jorgenson Consulting, a national executive search firm serving organizations in economic and community development industries.

Palmer, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is a 2012 graduate of Northeastern State University and a 2018 graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institution. In 2016, Palmer was awarded the NextGen Under 30 award. While working with Career Services, he has served as the tribe’s job fair coordinator for more than three years and has assisted thousands in finding employment.

“Hunter has always had a passion for helping individuals in and around his community,” Diane Kelley, Career Services executive director, said. “He has been a part of the Economic Development team at the Cherokee Nation that has helped bring in over 9,000 jobs to northeast Oklahoma. He’s also had a huge role in helping existing businesses to prosper and grow. For those reasons and many more, I’m proud of Hunter’s accomplishments and the experience he brings to the tribe and our communities.”

DCI and Jorgenson announced the winners of the 40 Under 40 awards during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale.

“The 40 Under 40 Award is designed to identify the economic development profession’s rising stars. These young economic development professionals represent the future of our industry,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The selection committee had a challenge selecting only 40 winners, but we are delighted by the smarts, initiative and game-changing mindset represented in these finalists. Economic development is in good hands with these young leaders, and Hunter is certainly no exception.”


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